'Mysteriously changed': Family's shock claims after runner's murder

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Agnes Tirop, pictured here at the Tokyo Olympics.
Agnes Tirop's family believe she was murdered over a property dispute. Image: Getty

A plot to murder Kenyan athletics star Agnes Tirop is likely to have been hatched while she was competing at the Tokyo Olympics, according to the late athlete's family.

Tirop was found dead last month with stab wounds to her neck and stomach, just weeks after she broke the women's 10km world record in Germany.

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Tirop's husband Ibrahim Rotich has since been arrested on suspicion of her murder, appearing in court this week.

A Kenyan court on Monday allowed police to hold Rotich for 20 days over her killing.

Rotich was arraigned on suspicion of her murder during his first appearance before the court in the Rift Valley town of Iten, close to the home they shared.

Police told the court they would use the time to complete investigations and to carry out tests on the suspect to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Agnes Tirop's family claim she was killed over property

Fresh details have since emerged after Tirop's murder, with her family of the belief that she was killed over a property dispute.

The star runner's family have claimed the majority of Tirop's property changed ownership while she was competing at the Tokyo Games.

Jeremiah Sawe, a spokesperson for Tirop's family, said parts of the property had changed hands three months ago without her knowledge, around the time she was in Tokyo.

"We have learnt with utter shock that the majority of our daughter's property has mysteriously changed hands," said Sawe.

Agnes Tirop's mother, pictured here with her portrait and a trophy at her home in Kapnyemisa.
Agnes Tirop's mother poses with her portrait and a trophy at her home in Kapnyemisa. (Photo by CASMIR ODUOR/AFP via Getty Images)

"What is shocking is that the property changed hands three months ago and some have been disposed of by her lover, who is also the prime suspect in the murder.

"We are now convinced she was killed because of her wealth.

"There are a total of 12 plots, which have since changed ownership.

"The suspect has made the property his and we believe the deceased was not aware, or was under duress.

"Also, there are no documents for several vehicles bought by the athlete, and shockingly, another car is registered under one of the suspect's friends, also in police custody."

Detective Andolo Munga of the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department said the family's statements were being treated as "allegations until proven otherwise".

Agnes Tirop, pictured here after winning bronze in the 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships in 2019.
Agnes Tirop celebrates winning bronze in the 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships in 2019. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

"Crime can be committed in series and in several avenues," said Munga.

"In this particular case, we are basing our probe on reverse and forward investigation.

"We might arrest more suspects in the course of our investigation."

Detectives arrested Rotich on Thursday in the coastal city of Mombasa, saying he was trying to flee the country. 

Neither Rotich, nor his representatives, have made any public comments on the case.

On October 3, Tirop finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race. 

She claimed bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000 metre race, and won the 2015 World Cross Country Championships.

with AFP

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